Author Topic: Bromated Bleached vs Unbromated Bleached  (Read 6343 times)

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Offline BrickStoneOven

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Bromated Bleached vs Unbromated Bleached
« on: December 10, 2009, 02:07:29 PM »
I have been looking around here and on the web and I can't really find anything. Only thing I found was that bromated is bad for you and what is bad about bleaching I couldn't find anything on that as well. PLEASE enlighten me.


Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Bromated Bleached vs Unbromated Bleached
« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2009, 02:49:55 PM »
David,

Maybe you have already done this, but if you search the forum using the keyword "bromate" or "bromated", you will find three pages of hits on the subject. A typical example is http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,4867.msg41290.html#msg41290. See also the entry Potassium Bromate in the forum's Pizza Glossary at http://www.pizzamaking.com/pizza_glossary.html#P. Bleaching flour, either through natural aging or through the use of chemicals, whitens the flour by whitening the carotenoids that give flours their natural slightly yellow coloration (see also http://www.pizzamaking.com/forum/index.php/topic,3366.msg28470.html#msg28470). Some chemical bleaching agents (such as chlorine gas) can improve the capacity of flours, such as cake flours, to retain water and sugar. King Arthur has recently come up with an unbleached cake flour. Previously, the KA cake flour was their only flour that was bleached. Opinions differ on whether bleaching is good or bad. Likewise with bromated flours but with much greater disagreement.

You can find specs for typical General Mills bromated bleached and unbromated bleached flours, and their typical applications and uses, at http://www.gmflour.com/gmflour/Home.aspx.

Peter
« Last Edit: December 10, 2009, 03:09:35 PM by Pete-zza »

Offline Cayman

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Re: Bromated Bleached vs Unbromated Bleached
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2010, 09:25:45 AM »
So is Bromated flour ok to use? Or would one be better off to buy the Unbromated if available?

Offline pcampbell

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Re: Bromated Bleached vs Unbromated Bleached
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2010, 11:59:31 AM »
I think that MOST independent pizzerias in the USA use bromated flour.  I will put it this way, when I go to the restaurant supply houses locally, at 4 different places I can't buy ANY non bromated high gluten flour. They do not carry it.  I heard that some of the big 3 do not use bromated flour.  The concern is that potassium bromate is a "possible carcinogen" as defined by the FDA (outlawed in Canada , other countries and a warning label is supposedly required  in California).
Patrick

scott123

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Re: Bromated Bleached vs Unbromated Bleached
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2010, 12:44:44 PM »
Actually, potassium bromate is a very well documented carcinogen- in particular quantities. What's never been documented, though, is the danger of the parts per million added to flour or the parts per billion detected in baked goods produced with said flour.

As far as I'm concerned, banning bromated flour because bromate is a carcinogen is a little like telling people they can't go outdoors any more because sunlight causes cancer. Anything will kill you if you eat enough of it.  Salt.  Water.  It's always about the dose. And the dose from baked pizza is absolutely meaningless.

So, Cayman, yes, bromated flour is 'ok' to use.

Bromated flour produces doughs that are far more extensible/superior to unbromated flour. I've been encouraged by the extensibility I found working with unbromated Bouncer flour (Bay State Milling), but I'm going to have to work with it a lot more before I would ever call it a worthy substitute.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2010, 01:38:18 PM by scott123 »

Offline pcampbell

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Re: Bromated Bleached vs Unbromated Bleached
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2010, 01:17:52 PM »
Out of curiosity, where were you able to find unbromated bouncer?
« Last Edit: February 22, 2010, 01:23:08 PM by pcampbell »
Patrick

Offline Cayman

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Re: Bromated Bleached vs Unbromated Bleached
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2010, 01:36:18 PM »
Ok... Well as I stated in another post, I found a 50# bag of All Trumps High Gluten Flour for $14 and change. I'm not sure if it was Bromated or Unbromated but wasn't sure so I wanted to ask before I bought it. I will also look to see if they have KASL but if they don't I will buy the All Trumps.

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Re: Bromated Bleached vs Unbromated Bleached
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2010, 01:57:13 PM »
Out of curiosity, where were you able to find unbromated bouncer?

I bought two pounds of it from Shop Rite of Wharton's bakery department :)  The guy put it in a big plastic cake box and charged me $2 for it. It was a last ditch effort after calling about 50 bakeries/pizzerias in my area to see if they'd sell me anything bromated. In the past, they'd be more than happy to, but now, for some reason, they won't. I was in a bind, and although I didn't want unbromated flour, I sure as heck wasn't going the KA or the 'better for bread' route. So I paid the $2.  And man, did it perform amazingly well.

I went back a few weeks later just to read the ingredients and confirm it wasn't bromated.  They brought an entire bag out for me to look at. No bromate.

I then emailed Bay State Milling to see if they could direct me to any distributors- they gave me Carrados and Dawn (Edison).  I called Dawn that day and could have sworn they had unbromated, but I might have forgotten to ask.  I called today- they only carry the bromated. I called Carrados and they were able to tell me that they normally carry bouncer (they were out at the time), but couldn't tell me if it's unbromated.  My guess, considering everything they sell is bromated, it probably isn't.  It's kind of silly, considering that the specs on the Bouncer are almost identical to the AT, and it would make sense, from a variety standpoint, to offer something unbromated, but, I guess pizzerias don't want unbromated flour of any kind.

So I found it, but, not really.  I might see if SR would be willing to sell me a whole bag, but I think that's a bit of a long shot.

I will also look to see if they have KASL

They won't :)  Most bakeries are smart enough not to fall for KA's marketing ruse.

Offline pcampbell

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Re: Bromated Bleached vs Unbromated Bleached
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2010, 02:06:36 PM »
are you near wharton then... i am in Midland park.  What is wrong with King Arthur? 

If you want I can buy you plenty of bromated flour.  I can get bay mills from Driscoll in Clifton, or I can get All trumps from Restaurant Depot in S Hackensack.  let me know if you want some I'll get it.  I am going to both of these places eventually.
Patrick

Offline Cayman

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Re: Bromated Bleached vs Unbromated Bleached
« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2010, 02:32:28 PM »
Scott - I actually get it from Restraunt Depot as well, not a bakery.

pcampbell - they sell the Bromated one? Do you know if they sell KASL? What other good brands do they carry? I'm going today after work to pick up a bag.
« Last Edit: February 22, 2010, 02:34:04 PM by Cayman »


scott123

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Re: Bromated Bleached vs Unbromated Bleached
« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2010, 02:33:17 PM »
Patrick, thanks, but I was eventually able to take care of my bromated flour fix. All Trumps from Carrados.  Is restaurant depot cheaper? I think Carrados was $16.

KA and I have a bit of a history :)  About 10 years back, the KABF I was buying locally (Whole Foods, I think), made the most miserable doughs I've ever seen.  Dense doesn't even begin to describe it.  Unextensible.  Fragile.  Just the worst.

Personal history aside, it's well known that KA is just rebranded flour.  KA takes a commercial flour, slaps their label on it and marks up the price exorbitantly.  Peter has confirmed that Bay State has/is milling at least some of the KA flour, although I've seen conjecture that it could be GM.  It could be both.  It could be regional.  Who knows. Bottom line, if you buy KA flour, you're buying someone else's flour with KAs price tag.  I'm sorry, but that's not right.
« Last Edit: February 23, 2010, 06:52:23 PM by scott123 »

Offline pcampbell

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Re: Bromated Bleached vs Unbromated Bleached
« Reply #11 on: February 22, 2010, 02:59:43 PM »
Cayman around here they carry All trumps, maybe Pillsbury.  They do not sell anything King Arthur, or any bread or high gluten flour which is unbromated. Only flour you can get that is not bleached or bromated is Heckers which is all purporse.

scott123, restaurant depot is probably not much cheaper than $16/50#..   It is right around there anyway. 

For KA... interesting i have never heard anyone having problems with KA flour.  I think the thing is that they offer flours to consumers which would be difficult to get otherwise.  Better for bread flour is probably roughly similar to KA bread flour and its about the same price here.  otherwise for the consumer looking for unbleached unbromated flour... king arthur is an easy choice since none of their flour has either. 
Patrick

Offline dms

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Re: Bromated Bleached vs Unbromated Bleached
« Reply #12 on: February 22, 2010, 03:05:32 PM »
P
Personal history aside, it's well known that KA is just rebranded flour.  KA takes a commercial flour, slaps their label on it and marks up the price exorbitantly.  Peter has confirmed that Bay State has/is milling at least some of the KA flour, although I've seen conjecture that it could be GM.  It could be both.  It could be regional.  Who knows. Bottom line, if you buy KA flour, you're buying someone else's flour with KAs price tag.  I'm sorry, but that's not right.

That's not fair at all.  Not at all.  King Arthur are big enough that they have a lot of control over their products.  They buy their own wheat, for instance, based on the protein profile the flour it will end up in is to have.  The mills mill to KA's specs, not their own, not just for protein, but ash, moisture, particle size, and more.  Saying that "buying KA is buying someone else's flour" is simply not true.  

Now, it is the case that you pay a rather substantial premium for the KA name, if you buy at the retail level, or direct from them.  If you're a bakery, and you buy flour by the pallet, it's a much smaller premium.  

But the sort of out sourcing KA does is very common in food products.  

Offline Pete-zza

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Re: Bromated Bleached vs Unbromated Bleached
« Reply #13 on: February 22, 2010, 03:58:44 PM »
dms,

What you say is correct to the best of my knowledge. KA is said to have the tighest specs in the industry. For example, for protein content, the delta is +/- 0.2%. I believe that Bay State Milling uses +/- 0.3% for their own flours. Other millers have wider specs than those.

Peter

Offline Cayman

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Re: Bromated Bleached vs Unbromated Bleached
« Reply #14 on: February 22, 2010, 05:40:35 PM »
I am here now and it's thr All Trumps High Gluten Bromated Bleached flour. They also have Bay State Golden Lion High Gluten, 50lb for $13. Anyone try this? I'm going to get the All Trumps for now.

Offline dms

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Re: Bromated Bleached vs Unbromated Bleached
« Reply #15 on: February 22, 2010, 07:00:15 PM »
dms,

What you say is correct to the best of my knowledge. KA is said to have the tighest specs in the industry. For example, for protein content, the delta is +/- 0.2%. I believe that Bay State Milling uses +/- 0.3% for their own flours. Other millers have wider specs than those.

Peter

More interesting to the small scale or home baker is how the consistency holds up over longer term.   There's a fairly large variation in protein content of winter wheats, year to year, depending on the weather.  it's not unusual for millers supplying big customers to re-write the spec sheets when getting high enough protein content is prohibitively expensive.  If you're using a ton of flour a day, it's not a hardship to rework formulas to match the new flour.  If you're using 25 lbs every six weeks or so (which is about the rate I use bread flour), it's much more work. 

Offline scott r

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Re: Bromated Bleached vs Unbromated Bleached
« Reply #16 on: February 23, 2010, 05:29:38 PM »
Ok... Well as I stated in another post, I found a 50# bag of All Trumps High Gluten Flour for $14 and change. I'm not sure if it was Bromated or Unbromated but wasn't sure so I wanted to ask before I bought it. I will also look to see if they have KASL but if they don't I will buy the All Trumps.

Guys, a nice easy way to tell if ANY general mills flour is bromated or not, even from a distance, is the color of the lettering on the bag.    Im talking the big lettering that makes up most of the artwork on the bag, such as the writing of "General Mills".   If it is red it has bromate in it, if it is green it does not have bromate in it.   I have been experimenting for years with both bromated and non bromated all trumps flour in side by side tests, and I have definitely noticed huge differences between the two.   Here are a few thoughts on the subject:

The big chain pizzerias such as Domino's, Pizza Hut, Papa John's have seen the writing on the wall about bromated flour for years.  Non of them use bromated flour any more. Remember when Domino's or Pizza Hut was actually good?  This is because they once were making pizza with bromated flour, but they have changed their dough recipes in the past 10 years to include a cocktail of other ingredients that in the right combination can mimic the effects of potassium bromate.  Some of these ingredients are ascorbic acid, genetically modified enzymes, lecthin, Datem etc.  Unfortunately it doesn't quite work the same, and that is why most of us prefer the mom and pop operations still using the bromate.   Outside of chain pizzerias, the use of non bromated flour is indeed VERY RARE in the pizza industry.   I always ask my wholesalers that specialize in equipping smaller chains, and mom and pop operations if they know of any pizzerias that do not use bromated flour.   I have sourced ingredients all around the country in my consulting service, and the answer seems to be the same everywhere except California.  Most of the time I get a response such as "EVERYONE uses bromated flour".  I live in Boston and so far I have only found one traditional pizzeria that does not use it, a place called Picco.   The other places that don't use it are the two places attempting to make an authentic high temp neapolitan pizza using a european flour (caputo).  This is in an area with hundreds of pizzerias.   Pizza is really popular here, and make up a huge portion of the available food in the area.  

Non bromated flours have been available and widely used by the bread baking industry for years, so why is bromated flour so rampant in the pizza industry?  Bromated flour makes a very light, fluffy, less dense product and acts as a crutch for many of the most common mistakes that happen when making pizza such as under mixing and over proofing.  Bread Bakers are almost always professionals that have more often than not studied their craft for years under the guiding hand of veteran bakers, and they have also often gone to school for professional training.   Pizzerias are often manned by people that are self taught.  Often times pizza is made by people that have never set foot in a bakery where you have to be able to manipulate baking/proofing scenarios to make a multitude of totally different products from the same basic ingredients.  Im not trying to dismiss the credibility of all pizza makers, but mixing pizza dough is just not a "highly schooled" profession, at least not in this country.   Bromate definitely makes it easier to show a 17 year old high school student the dough making process a few times and have him come up with a usable product.

It is possible to make a pizza with non bromated flour that is close to one made with bromated flour, but I have found it much harder to make a consistent pizza without bromate.   Don't get me wrong, you can still make amazing pizza, but it is harder to do it on a daily basis and have it always turn out the same.   You need to mix the dough a little longer with a non bromated flour, and you have to learn that there is a smaller window of the ideal mixing time and proofing time.   Even with these changes you will still find the pizza made with bromated flour stays softer longer, which allows you to bake the pizza longer and achieve more char.  You will find that the pizza does not toughen up as fast when it has been sitting out waiting for a slice reheat, or the next day when you get to your leftovers.   You will also notice smaller voids in the dough, but many more of them, so there are physical and textural differences.   One interesting thing I have found is that at a lower temperature bromate really helps to give the dough lots of oven spring, but as the temperatures increase it eventually starts to detract from the texture.   If you make high temperature neapolitan pizza with bromated flour it can almost become too cottony soft and the interesting texture of an authentic Neapolitan pizza is lost.  







Offline old criter

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Re: Bromated Bleached vs Unbromated Bleached
« Reply #17 on: February 23, 2010, 06:42:37 PM »
Interesting conversation. Those using KABF should note that, according to the package, it is never bleached AND never bromated. I just had the opportunity of having a friend ship me 50#'s of All Trumps. He asked which one I wanted. Since I have been using KABF, I went with 50143, unbleached and unbromated. I'm anxious to find out what differences will be.

Offline Cayman

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Re: Bromated Bleached vs Unbromated Bleached
« Reply #18 on: February 23, 2010, 06:48:06 PM »
Scott - Interesting information. Thanks for all of the insight!!! I look forward to using it even more now, especially since I have a place that sells 50# bags right down the street from me.


Edited because I read it wrong, I think.  :P

Offline Cayman

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Re: Bromated Bleached vs Unbromated Bleached
« Reply #19 on: February 23, 2010, 07:08:01 PM »
Scott - That is what I was thinking but I think old critter may have got it backwards. I just checked and I have the red graphics... plus it says bromated really big on the front. LOL


 

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